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Jodhpur

 
 
     
 
     
 
Jodhpur : This bustling desert city is the second largest in Rajasthan after Jaipur. It was founded by Rao Jodha, the leader of the Rathore clan, in 1459 AD. The mammoth, imposing fortress (Meherangarh) has a landscape dominating a rocky ridge with the eight gates leading out of fortress. The new city is outside the structure. The Rathores enjoyed good relations with the Mughals.  Maharaja Jaswant Singh (1678) supported Shah Jahan in
the latter's war of succession. The relations with the Mughals soured during the reign of Aurangzeb who launched a crusade against the Hindus, made preparations to bring the state of Marwar under his control, ordered demotion of temples and revival of Jeziya.   After Aurangzeb's death, Maharaja Ajit Singh drove out the Mughals from Ajmer and added it to Marwar.
In the reign of Maharaja Umed Singh Jodhpur grew into a modern city. The quintessence of Jodhpur was its valour and equestrian skill. Polo has been the traditional sport of the Jodhpur nobility since medieval times.

Jodhpur has two railway stations – City and Rai ka Bagh. Both the railway stations are outside the walled city. The bus stand is right outside the Rai ka Bagh Station. The High Court is near the bus stand next to the Umed Gardens . Also located nearby is the tourist reception centre and RTDC Hotel Ghoomer. Ahead is the main market and entry to the walled city is from Sojati Gate. This area also has many hotels. Jodhpur is also a army and an air force station. It has a large cantonment and airbase.
 
     
 

SIGHT SEEING

 
 
UMAID BHAWAN PALACE, JODHPUR
Built by Maharaja Umaid Singh ( 1929 – 1942 ) and named after him, this exquisite Palace is also known as Chittar Palace because of the local chittar sandstone used in it. It is a splendid example of Indo-colonial and art deco architecture of the 30s. A unique feature of this palace is the fact that the manually chiselled sandstone blocks have been put together in a special system of interlocking. There is no mortar binding. A portion of the
 
palace has been converted into a hotel, the other remains on view to visitors in the form of an excellent museum which houses model aeroplanes, weapons, antique clocks, bob watches, priceless crockery and hunting trophies. Both sections retain the ambience of royal splendour. Timings- 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM
 
     
 
GOVT. BANGUR MUSEUM :
This Museum was opened for public on 19 July, 1991. The main attractions of this museum is the idol of Sukali Mata brought from Auwa. The idol of Vishnu, paintings from the Jodhpur school of painting and a rich collection of coins and idols are other attractions. It is situated in the Pali City , near the old bus stand. Timings : 10:00 AM to 04:00PM, closed on a Gazetted Holidays. Entry Fees for General Rs.3.00 and For Students Rs.1.00.
 
     
 
MEHRANGARH FORT :
Perched on a 150 m high hill its sprawl is the most formidable and magnificent fort in Rajasthan. Rao Jodha founded it in 1459 but subsequent rulers of Jodhpur have also added to it over the centuries. A meandering road leads to the from the city 5 kms below. Battle scars of canon ball hit by attacking armies of Jaipur can still be seen on the second gate. To the left is chhatri of Kirat Singh Soda, a soldier who fell on the
spot while defending the fort against the armies of Amber. There are seven gates, which include Jayapol meaning victory built by Maharaja Man Singh to commemorate his victories over Jaipur and Bikaner armies. Fatehpol also meaning victory gate was built by Maharaja Ajit Singh to mark the defeat of Mughals. The palm imprints still attract devotional attention and are covered by vermilion paste and paper-thin silver foil.
 
     
 
FORT   MUSEUM :
This is one of the finest museums in Rajasthan and certainly the best laid out. In the palanquin section of the fort museum, you can see an interesting collection of old royal palanquins including the elaborate domed gilt Mahadol palanquin, which was won in a battle from the Governor of Gujarat in 1730. The museum exhibits the heritage of the Rathores in arms, costumes, paintings and decorated period rooms.
 
     
 
PHOOL MAHAL:
The grandest of Mehrangarh's period rooms, the Phool Mahal was in all likelihood a private and exclusive chamber of pleasure dancing girls. It has a ceiling rich in gold filigree. The Phool Mahal was created by Maharaja Abhaya Singh (1724-1749) and the gold came from Ahmedabad in Gujarat as war booty after his famous victory over the rebellious Mughal governor,
Sarbuland Khan. The paintings, royal portraits and the ever-popular raga mala, came much later, in the reign of Jaswant Singh II.

JHANKI MAHAL
:
The Jhanki Mahal, from where the royal ladies watched the official proceedings, in the courtyard, today houses a rich collection of the royal cradles. The cradles are decorated with gilt mirrors and figures of fairies, elephant and birds.
 
     
 
JASWANT THADA :
On the way down from the fort, on left is Jaswant Thada, the graceful marble cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. His son Maharaja Sardar Singh built this monument known as the Taj Mahal of Marwar in the memory of Maharaj Jaswant Singh II of Jodhpur . The main memorial has been built like a temple with intricately carved marble stone. A visit to this structure is
through the rocky hills giving it a secluded and a mystic aura. Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM.
 
     
 
GOVERNMENT MUSEUM :
This museum nestles in the middle of Umaid Public Garden and houses a rich collection of exhibits – armoury, textiles, local art and crafts, miniature paintings, portraits of rulers, manuscripts and images of Jain Tirthankaras. Umaid Public Garden also houses a zoo.
 
     
 
MANDORE GARDEN :
Mandore was the former capital of Maharajas of Marwar and is located about 5 miles north of Jodhpur but was later abandoned for the security of Mehrangarh fort. Here you will find the dewals or cenotaphs of Jodhpur 's former rulers.  Unlike the usual chhatri-shaped cenotaphs typical of Rajasthan, they were built along the lines of a Hindu temple, four storeys  high, with fine columns and an elegant spire, all in red sandstone. The
most impressive is the dewal of Maharaja Ajit Singh (reigned 1678-1724). These cenotaphs are set in beautiful landscaped gardens. Nearby is the hall of heroes, dedicated to various deities and fabled Rajput folk heroes, whose statues are carved out of rock and painted in bright colours. Next door is a larger hall called "The Shrine of the Three Hundred Million, filled with brightly coloured images of the various Hindu Gods. As you climb up the hill, you come to the ruined city of Mandore , with its old palace. The beautiful Maharani's cenotaphs set apart on a rocky outcrop is a ten-minute walk over the hill. Today its extensive gardens with high rock terrace make it a popular local attraction. Timings: 8 AM to 8 PM
 
 

NEAR JODHPUR

 
 

OSIAN :
The ancient town of the Thar Desert was a great trading center between 8th to 12th centuries AD. Today it is a desert oasis with 16 Brahamanical and Jain temples. These are beautifully sculpted and designed, and most of them have stood the ravages of time. The highlight of this place is its camel ride at the time of the sunset. The tourists have the liberty to watch the architectural forms during camel ride and return to the camps or the resorts. This is followed by drinks. The evening is marked by performing arts and choice of oriental cuisines arranged in the ethnic style of that region. The stay at the camps is highly refreshing. 
     
GUDA: A BISHNOI VILLAGE :
It is the nearest point from Jodhpur to experience exotic wildlife and nature. During the season thousands of birds can be seen here. The demoiselle Crane is a great attraction. There is pond with water for the antelopes and black bucks of nearby area. One can also visit to the villages of potters, weavers, shoe makers, shepherds, Bishnois, etc. in the area around.

KAILANA LAKE :
Situated on Jaisalmer road, this small artificial lake is an ideal picnic spot. It is like a canvas with a splash of romantic colours. The beauty here will linger on your mind for a long time.
Boating facilities are also available through R.T.D.C.
 
     
 
MAHAMANDIR TEMPLE :
Mahamandir, meaning a great temple, is a sanctified spot where tranquility reigns supreme. Situated on Mandore road, the temple is an architectural wonder, supported by 84 pillars and ornamented with detailed designs and figures depicting various postures of Yoga. The entire structure is marked by a unique style.
 
 
     
 

RANAKPUR JAIN TEMPLES :
It is situated about 100 km. south east of Pali and about 9 km. south of Sadri town. The Jain Community, like several others, had always enjoyed the patronage of the ruling family of Mewar and quite a few important positions were held by the Jains. The rulers were also particularly supportive of their temple building activities. In the 15th century, Rana Kumbha of Mewar gave large stretch of land in a quiet and picturesque
valley, deep in the Aravalis, to the Jains. This area came to be known as Ranakpur. Located 96 km from Udaipur , this is one of the five main holy places of the Jains. Although over 500 years old, these temples are well preserved and are almost in perfect condition. The central temple is the Chomukha Temple . Dedicated to Adinath, the first Jain Tirthankar (saint), this three-storey temple is the most complex and exquisite in design. It has 29 halls, 80 domes and 1,444 pillars. What is interesting here is the fact that no two pillars are alike. Each one of these pillars is covered with the most intricate carvings.
 
     
 
SOMNATH TEMPLE :
This temple of Lord Shiva is famous for its historical background and sculptures. It is situated in the middle of the Pali City . It was constructed by the King of Gujarat, Kumarpal Solanki, in the Vikram Samvat 1209. In the premises, there are many small temples of other gods and goddesses.
 
     
 
TERAH TALI :
The village Padarla is famous for its “Terah Tali Dance” all over the world because of its unique style. Among the folk dances it has become the symbol of Pali. Other folk dances are Kachi Ghodi of village Mundara, Ghoomer of Bhil Ladies, Gangaur and Gavri dance of Garasias and Ran dance of village Busi.

MACHIYA SAFARI PARK :

This park lies on the way to Jaisalmer, about 1km from Kailana Lake . The key fauna of the safari park includes, deer, desert fox, monitor lizard, blue bulls, rabbits, wild cats, mongoose, monkeys etc. There is also large number of birds, which can be seen from an exclusive bird watching point. One can also see the sunset from the fort of the park.
 
     
 
PALI :
Pali is named after the Paliwal Brahmins who once inhabited the area. Ancient Pali housed a highly evolved civilization. The land, leased by the then chief of Mandore (the former capital of Jodhpur district), was cultivated diligently by the Paliwals who abandoned their former priestly profession. The temples of Somnath and Naulakha are very old. Naulakha Jain temple has elaborate carvings while Somnath Shiv temple is known for its exquisite sculptures.
 
     
 
SOJAT :
The Sojat town is situated on the left bank of the Sukri River near Pali town, known as Tamravati in ancient times. The fort has a big reservoir and several temples like Sejal Mata, Chaturbhuj and others. The old temple of Chamunda Mata is located on the top of one of the hillocks. Dargah of Pir Mastan is the main attraction at the time of Urs. One of the major attractions of  this city is the plantation of ‘mehandi' trees, a herbal plant where the leaves are squashed into a thin paste and applied on the hands and the feet in various
attractive designs. This traditional art form is now known all over the world and has been internationally adopted in the fashion circuit. Many of the foreign tourists who happen to take this particular route are tempted to take a break for decorating their palms and feet with  ‘mehandi' (henna).

Other prominent place to be visited are the temple of Ramdeoji near village Biratiya, the fort of Desuris and Kurki, the birth place of Mirabai. The legendry poetess (Mirabai) dedicated her entire life worshiping lord Krishna and spreading his message all over. Jawai bandh and Jain temples of Narlai are also worth visiting.

NIMAJ   :  
Nimaj has a temple, dedicated to goddess Durga,  built in 9th century AD. It also covers a unique art gallery showcasing some masterpieces of sculptural art, adorned within natural surroundings.

NADOL :
It is situated on the Rani – Desuri road in the north-west of Desuri. Nadol is now a small village but once it was the capital of the Chauhans of  Shakambhari. The ancient ruins still speak of the past glory, which this place enjoyed. Mahmud of Ghazni on his march against Somnath Temple is said to have passed through Nadol. Later Qutub-Uddin-Aibak, the lieutenant of Mohammad Ghori captured this place.

There are many famous temples in the village and its vicinity. There is a beautiful Jain temple of Padma Prabhunath . The temples of Somnath and Rikheshwar Mahadeo are on the top of a nearby rock. The nearby temple of Ashapura Mataji is a family deity of ex-Chauhan kings of Nadol. On the bank of a pond near the burial grounds is the temple of the Hanumanji which has an exceedingly beautifully carved toran or doorways made of marble.
 
     
 
GHANERAO :
Ghanerao is a village in Desuri tehsil, situated in the south-west of Desuri on the road leading to Sadri. The place was held by a Jagirdar of the erstwhile Jodhpur state prior to independence. There are many Hindu and Jain temples in this village and its vicinity. There are about 11 Jain temples, some of which are quite old. In the village are also Hindu temples of Laxmi Narayanji, Murlidhar and Charbhujaji. On the outskirts of
the village is situated a ‘math' known as Giriji Ki Dhani. A temple of Gajanand here is worth seeing.

AUWA :

Auwa is situated 12 km to the south of headquarter of Marwar Junction Tehsil. Previously, Auwa village was a part of Jodhpur State . The place came into great prominence during the the first war of independence of 1857 when its Jagirdar Thakur Kushal Singh revolted against the Britishers. He gave a great blow to the British prestige by repulsing the forces led by Brigadier Lawrence. Thereafter, Col. Home with a large force besieged the place and evacuated it. The place has an ancient temples of Lord Mahadeo on its outskirts, which is believed to have been constructed in the 11th century AD.

In 1857 mutiny broke out in neighboring Abu and Erinpura. The British dispatched 30,000 troops to quell and capture. Auwa (in Pali district). The British destroyed the fort and the palace. Even temples and their idols were not spared. The statue of goddess Mahakali brought to Ajmer is still kept in the Ajmer Museum .
 
     
 
NAGAUR :
The Ahhichatragarh Fort is a medium size fort, built by Mughal Emperors Akbar and Shah Jahan. A well planned Mughal Garden retains its old pleasant appearance even today. The city and buildings show distinct Muslim influence. A five domed mosque built by Emperor Akbar dominates the landscape. The city is best visited during the Ramdeoji Ka mela and Tejaji ka mela (fair) in February and August respectively. Nagaur is approachable by express buses of Rajasthan Roadways and by taxi.
 
     
 
     
 
     
     
   
     
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